I'm a reformed ants-in-your-pants kinda gal. Yeah, I was the one in meditation class who just couldn't sit still. My monkey-mind was all over the place, jumping from the present to the past, back to the future and around and around.
I was like Dory, the wide-eyed blue fish who suffers from memory loss every few seconds on the movie Finding Nemo.
I just didn't "get" how to do meditation. I seriously wondered if I would ever get it, actually, if I'm being honest.
I didn't feel like I belonged in yoga classes. I'd get quite agitated just at the mere thought of being still for a minute or two. Those minutes felt painfully like watching a cup of tea reheat in a microwave.
I had zero idea how to be "present" in the moment. I really was the world's worst fidget. But now I teach yoga and meditation every week, as well as sharing this at the Mindful Moments retreats in Rotorua.
I've learnt how to harness the power of finding strength through this practice of stillness. So, I'm proof that you can "get" it.
I love sharing this story — because I know a lot of people feel like me when they start meditation. Here are some tips that helped me go from fidgeting in meditation to blissing out. I hope they work for you too.
1 Start by practising meditation for just a minute a day. You can build on this time slowly. Some time is better than no time at all. It's a doable and relatable start into the practice. When I first started meditation someone tried to prescribe 30-minutes daily for me and that felt so overwhelming that I didn't do anything! Not until someone encouraged me to do it for a few moments and build from there. That advice was gold.
2 Meditation doesn't have to see you being still with your eyes closed. How about just stopping in nature, bringing awareness to your beautiful surroundings and tuning into the feelings in your body. Slow down your breathing and just celebrate being in the moment for a few, well, moments. This is the start of a beautiful meditation practice. Sometimes just noting the clouds' shapes, colour and watching them slowly move can feel blissfully meditative. Soak up the magic of that moment. Slowing down can calm your nervous system powerfully.
3 Try a meditation app that has those beautiful images and a sexy voice that can soothe you when you feel like your mind is drowning in non-stop thoughts ... Let someone teach you and guide you into the practice.
— Rachel Grunwell is a wellness expert and author of the book Balance: Food, Health + Happiness. Check out Rachel's website, inspiredhealth.co.nz. Follow Rachel on Instagram (@rachelgrunwell) or InspiredHealthNZ's Facebook (InspiredHealthNZ).